Tuesday, April 14, 2009

RIGHTS-COLOMBIA: Fact-Finding Mission "Shocked"

Check out this story in IPS about Colombia's human rights crisis.

By Constanza Vieira

THE HAGUE, Apr 10 (IPS) - A delegation of seven British Labour members of parliament and 10 trade union leaders from the U.S., Canada and Britain said they were in a "state of shock" over what they heard during a week-long fact-finding mission to Colombia.

In a strongly worded statement read out in Spanish at a press conference Wednesday in the Colombian Congress, the parliamentary and labour mission accused the government of right-wing President Álvaro Uribe of being an "accomplice of crimes against humanity."

Crimes against humanity are defined by Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), based in this city in the Netherlands, as "any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack: murder; extermination; enslavement; deportation….; imprisonment…; torture; rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilisation…; persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender (grounds)...; (or) enforced disappearance of persons".


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